Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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“How to Talk to God”
Hillcrest Church Office
August 20, 2003

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Here is this week’s WINNING WAYS . . . .

“How to Talk to God”
by Tom Goodman

We all remember that there were three buildings hit on Sept 11, but four hijacked planes.  The fourth one, United Flight 93, was bound for some target in Washington D.C., perhaps the Capitol or the White House.  Instead, it inexplicably crashed in the Pennsylvania countryside.  For days after the Sept 11 tragedy, Lisa Beamer listened to numerous stories telling how the passengers of Flight 93 called loved ones before the plane crashed, and she wondered why her husband had not called her.

Todd was on Flight 93 because of one of his many business trips.  But this Wheaton College graduate always made sure to be back with his family on Sundays.  That was because he was a devoted father of three – two sons, ages 3 and 1, and one on the way.  He was also a youth Sunday School teacher at the Princeton Alliance Church in Plainsboro New Jersey.

On Sept. 14, though, Lisa Beamer received a call from a GTE airfone operator who had finally tracked her down and wanted to relay that Todd Beamer had indeed called, and somehow the call was routed to the operator.  The operator, Lisa Jackson, told the young widow, Lisa Beamer, about Todd’s last moments.  Todd had asked the operator to call his wife if he didn’t make it.  And then the operator reported a part of the story that has captured our attention.  Newsweek magazine, in their article “The Real Story of Flight 93,” put it this way:

“He asked her to pray with him.  Beamer kept a Lord’s Prayer bookmark in his Tom Clancey novel, but he didn’t need any prompting.  He began to recite the ancient litany, and she joined him:
Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.
“‘Jesus help me,’ Beamer said.  And then he set the phone down and the operator heard him say the now famous line to the other passengers, ‘Are you ready?  Let’s roll!’”
The Lord’s Prayer, 2000 years old and yet so up-to-date that it’s the centerpiece of one of the most heroic stories from Sept. 11.

This Sunday we’ll take a close look at the Lord’s Prayer.  It’s part of our series called “On-Purpose Living.”  Bring someone with you!

See you at 8:30 or 10:45!
– Tom

P.S., I’m teaching a seven-week class that you may be interested in.  It’s a Seeker Class, designed for those considering the message of Christianity.  I’m inviting those who are seekers, and those who know seekers, to join me in a study of the book “A Search for the Spiritual” by Dr. James Emery White.  The class is a place with freedom to ask the tough questions about Christianity and explore answers together.  People from all educational backgrounds have benefited from the class in past courses.

At home before each session, participants are expected to read two chapters of the book and answer questions in a workbook I’ve prepared for the course.  The sessions will then be a discussion of the impressions gained from personal study.  Each session ends promptly two hours after it begins, though many will stay afterward to continue to discuss the topics raised in class.

The class and the workbook are free, but Dr. White’s book can be purchased in local bookstores or on the first night of the session.  Couples taking the course together may share a copy of Dr. White’s book.

We will keep the class size small, so pre-registration is strongly encouraged.  Contact me at or 345-3771 for more information.

The next study begins on Wednesday, September 3, 7:00-9:00 p.m. at Hillcrest Baptist Church.  The first night is simply a “Get Acquainted Night” where you can find out about the course before committing seven Wednesdays to it.



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